ONE of the largest dental and orthodontic clinics in the UK is celebrating after being awarded its first Better Health at Work award, following significant investment into the scheme.
Queensway Dental which has sites in Billingham, Jesmond, Darlington and Ferryhill has been awarded Bronze after passing the assessment process which focuses on identifying health issues staff would like to focus on improving and then running subsequent health campaigns to address the most requested.
Initiatives introduced by the practice include offering employees free fruit on a daily basis, a free pedometer device that is able to track each person’s steps by detecting motion, a personal branded water bottle to ensure employees are kept hydrated throughout the day and access to weekly “weigh-ins” for those monitoring their weight.
The clinic offers employees easy and healthy lunchtime recipe ideas following the creation of a ‘Queensway Recipe Book’ and its regular ‘Information Stations’ provide staff resources that focus on different topics each month such as Stoptober, mouth cancer awareness and Dry January.
Picnics and regular walks in the park this summer to take a break with colleagues and get fresh air were encouraged, which proved a huge success and have continued into winter and earlier this year the whole team benefitted from a gameshow style ‘Crystal Amazed’ team building event in North Yorkshire.
The selected health advocates have completed a mental health first aid awareness course which gives them skills to recognise signs that can be shared with colleagues if needed and applied outside of the working day with family and friends. Also, inspirational case studies are celebrated including weight loss.
For 2018 Queensway is planning a number of incentives to keep staff motivated and healthy including negotiating a part-funded rate for a local gym membership to make assessable to all employees and arranging for a physiotherapist to come and speak to the team about posture and exercise for preventing back pain.
Colette Meek, HR manager and Queensway’s health advocate said: “We are delighted to have been awarded our first Better Health at Work award. We have 118 members of staff at Queensway Dental and it’s my role to support each colleague to make healthy choices and ultimately improve their wellbeing which we are committed to do.
“We think it’s important as a business, no matter what size, to acknowledge that stress in the workplace can often play a role in low productivity and general poor morale so we hope by driving awareness of these issues as well as having the correct measures in place to combat them will ensure we have a happy team. We have lots of activities in the pipeline for 2018 and our ultimate goal is to work our way up each level of the award.”
The North East Better Health at Work Awards is a partnership between 12 Local Authorities in the region, the Northern TUC and the NHS. It is opens to all employees from small to large enterprises and has four levels including Bronze, Silver, Gold and Continuing Excellence.